GRAMOPHONE April 2002
Jarek Augustyniak was born in Poland in 1965. He started his musical education on the piano at the age of 9. However, he began his journey with the bassoon at 12 in the H. Wieniawski Secondary Music School in Łódź under Professor Stefan Szczech. In 1988 he graduated with distinction from the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland with a Masters degree in Bassoon and Chamber Music under Professor Stanisław Sojka. A year later he was a laureate in the XXI Competition of Young Instrumentalists in Włoszakowice while simultaneously winning the special award from Wielkopolska Symphony Orchestra. Jarek furthered his studies under the guidance of Vincenzo Menghini - RAI Turin.
Jarek was appointed as Principal Bassoon of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in December 2004. He joins BBC National Orchestra of Wales after a thirteen year post as Principal Bassoon with the Basque National Orchestra, Spain. In his career Jarek has played Principal Bassoon with the Nova Filarmonia Portuguesa, Łódź Opera Symphony Orchestra and in the Warsaw National Philharmonic.
His professional life had lead him to move from Poland, through Portugal and Spain into the United Kingdom. He has been given an opportunity to play in almost all European countries and as far afield as the USA, Argentina and Chile - in over 200 venues including Wien Konzerthaus, Madrid Auditorio Nacional, London Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Buenos Aires Teatro Colon. He has played under the baton of such great conductors as Rudolf Barshai, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Mark Elder, Charles Dutoit, Richard Hickox, Witold Lutosławski, Yehudi Menuhin, Tadaaki Otaka, Krzysztof Penderecki, Vassily Sinaisky, Walter Weller.
In addition, Jarek has fostered an active solo career, with the Łomża Chamber Orchestra (1987 - Mozart), tour with Nova Filarmonia Portuguesa (1992 - Mozart), Basque National Orchestra, San Sebastián (1996 - Weber, 1997 and 1998 - Escudero, 2001 - Françaix) and with Sinfonietta Académica Navarra (2000 - Vivaldi), BBC NOW (2005 - Weber, 2006 - Knotts and 2007 - R.Strauss, 2010 - F. Martin and E. Elgar). The next solo project with BBC NOW: A. Jolivet's - bassoon concerto.
"enthusiastically applauded by the audience"
Diario ABC, Madrid 31.05.1997
During his career Jarek has been a member of the European Jeunesses Musicales, Festival Orchestra "Sinfonia Helvetica" and a collaborator with the Dortmunder Philharmoniker, "Arthur Rubinstein" Philharmonic Orchestra, Łódź Radio Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, BBC Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra - London, Hallé Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and London Symphony Orchestra.
His interest in chamber music has driven him to be a founding member of the ensemble "Quinteto Barroco" and the wind quintet "Alizé". In the United Kingdom he is a member of BBC NOW Soloists and "Quintillion Ensemble". In 2007 he recorded a CD with this group. His solo compact disc recording with the Basque National Orchestra includes a - "Sinfonia Sacra" of Francisco Escudero.
"It would be unforgivable to talk of the "Sinfonia Sacra" without special mention of the second movement which displayed profound emotion during the artistic interpretation for the bassoon lead". (El Diario Vasco, San Sebastian, 1996)
He has participated in major European music festivals including "Warsaw Autumn", "Prague Spring", "Schleswig-Holstein", and the BBC PROM Festival.
His teaching experience commenced in 1989 working with the woodwind group in the H. Wieniawski Secondary Music School in Łódź. Subsequently Jarek has given numerous master classes in Poland, Portugal and Spain. He was responsible of the bassoon section in the Basque Country Youth Orchestra and the woodwind section in the Murcia Region Youth Orchestra. He has given educational concerts as a soloist with BBC NOW (D. Knotts - A miniconcerto for bassoon) and with chamber groups in various European countries. He is teaching at University of Bristol; collaborating regularly with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and working with the woodwind section of Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra. Jarek is also organizing in Poland yearly summer courses "Ventus Optimus" for woodwinds.
In his spare time Jarek takes a keen interest in sports, especially football and he has scored a few runs and wickets for the BBC NOW Cricket Team. He is a proud father of two sons Damian, Kosma and a girl Jasmin.